Now available as an E-Book!

Now available as an E-Book!
Save money and a tree- get the downloadable PDF version of "Southeast Asia on 2 Wheels!"

Previews from the book "Southeast Asia on 2 Wheels."


135 full-color pages of photos, stories, anecdotes, illustrations, journal pages maps and more!In addition to the four major sections on Yunnan, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand I have included some back story on both my first (and unsuccessful) attempt to motorcycle through China as well as how the planning for the trip came together.I have chosen the very best of the more than 4,000 photos from the trip as well as the most humorous, moving and fascinating of the several hundred anecdotes for Southeast Asia on 2 Wheels.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

A Motorcycle License: Is it Necessary?

This is a question I get sometimes from other riders. My simple answer is: "Sort of." Unlike the U.S., U.K. and other highly developed nations, Laos & Cambodia operate with looser rules. Basically, I recommend having SOMETHING to show the authorities if you get stopped.  You can get an international license like this one online for really cheap. I like this particular one because it has a hologram on it and is printed on a really 'official-looking' card. In the paper booklet that comes with the international license, you can just mark the motorcycle permit area yourself. Done.

Now about China. In theory, an international license is invalid in China and you need an official Chinese license to get around. Unfortunately, this is off-limits to the visiting foreign tourist. What are you to do? I got stopped several times, and I showed the international license. The cop would call headquarters and talk to someone for a while then let me go. The key to getting out of this: use a lot of English, and speak quickly. If you aren't making trouble, chances are the cops will just let you go to get rid of the hassle. Stay out of big city centers!

Thailand, I got stopped by a cop and he took my license and went back to his car. I ran away. Probably not the smartest thing I've done.

Monday, 28 December 2009

The Best Do-It-Yourself Motorcycle Helmet Cam


Dobro DoŇ°li "WildManGulice" Members!  We Love Serbia!

While riding through Asia, I built my own "helmet cam" mount for under $10 using some simple things you can find in any hardware store and PC shop. This helmet cam takes about 15 min. to make and works great. Here is a video I made using this mount:

What you need:

  • A cheap, $5 webcam tripod mount like this one. Make sure it is made from plastic and has a metal standard screw mount for digital/film cameras.
  • 2-Part epoxy glue. Get it at any hardware shop. Should be rated to bond plastics.
  • Some coarse-grit sandpaper or a grinder.
  • A plastic motorcycle helmet that you don't mind permanently altering. (no leather helmets.)
  • A soft rubber washer (optional)

How to build it:

  1. Snap the plastic legs off the tripod. Grind down the bottom until it is flat and smooth.
  2. Use a piece of string to find the center of your helmet - this should be directly over the crown of your head.
  3. IMPORTANT: Once you've found the center, mark a space that is about 5-10 degrees back from the center point. When you ride, you will keep your face down. If you mount the camera to the center point, then your camera will always be looking down too. Moving the mounting spot back a few degrees will give you much better videos.
  4. Sand down the area on the helmet you want to mount the camera to. It should be at least as big as the base of the webcam mount.
  5. Use the two-part epoxy mix to attach the camera mount to the sanded spot on the helmet. TIP: If the webcam mount has an adjustment for angle, you may want to epoxy this as well so it doesn't come loose while you are riding.
  6. Let the mount cure overnight. The next day, twist your camera onto the screw mount sticking up out of the helmet. You will need to do this several times to find the perfect spot to 'start' twisting the camera. Once you find the best spot, mark it with a marker so you can find it easy the next time. TIP: Adding a soft rubber washer to the mount can make this easier- it will give you some room to 'nudge' the camera into place to get the perfect angle.
  7. IMPORTANT: Always loop the camera's neck strap through the helmet's chin-strap when riding. If the mount breaks off while riding, your camera will be caught by your chin strap and won't fall onto the road.
  8. Set your camera to "Video" and you are ready to go!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Some memories from the road.

Below are just a handful of photos from my ride through Asia. Hope you enjoy them. There are plenty more posts, maps, illustrations and more throughout this blog, so help yourself fellow riders!

The harsh and rugged mountain passes that lead to Deqen, in Northern Yunnan Province, China.
(Nearing the Tibetan Border)

My bike, parked on a roadside at 14,000Ft (4,200M)
Northern Yunnan

Life on China's "national roads" is much harsher than the new, clean and motorcycle-banned super highways. A local commutes to his job at one of several nearby factories. In the distance is one of the usual heavy-duty trucks that makes life on these roads dangerous and miserable.
(Eastern China, Wuxi)

The nitty-gritty life of southern Laos. This town borders Thailand, separated by a narrow river at the back of the plaza. A perfect resting place for a weary rider!